Today I took a trip to the Land of Oz.
I'm not sure if I was blown there by the 20+ mph winds all day long, with even stronger gusts, or if Oz is really just 50 miles away from Fort Collins and I ran there.
It was a tough day for a run, with strong winds the whole time, and I pushed myself hard to end up with a 10 hour, 12 minute, 56 second, 50 mile training run. Not bad for running on my own all day long, 15.4 laps around Houts Reservoir & Equalizer Lake in Loveland, and a few strange characters I met while following the yellow brick road, actually the half white concrete walking path, half mud which soon dried in the wind to dirt path.
But then, I happen to love running in the wind. There were whitecaps on the lakes and I figured out that grass grows horizontally in Oz.
And then there were the pelicans. A flock of white pelicans landed on the lake, surfing the waves. They must have thought their migration was over, and they found the ocean.
Pelicans must be the national bird in the Land of Oz. I also met some other creatures in Oz, not quite as graceful as the pelicans.
I met some Darwin Award candidates in Oz. On the south side of the lakes, there is another townhouse or condo being built next to the ones that are already there. I started running early this morning before anyone was at the construction site. After about 5 laps I heard the first catcall. I didn't think it was a catcall, I just heard something in the wind and turned my head toward the building. I saw two men on the roof, working, but obviously not working very hard.
I ignored them and ran on. After that, almost every time I ran by I heard some kind of whistle or comment, unless there happened to be a strong gust of wind howling at the same time. I could see them as I approached, standing on the steep boards of the roof with their nail gun. Up there on the roof, not paying attention to what they were doing, instead they were busy watching me run by. I bet their boss loves having employees like that.
I kept ignoring them, and thankfully they were gone for lunch for a lap which gave me a break. On the next lap I was getting irritated. After 10 loops of being ignored don't you think they'd get tired of the game?
I used some choice sign language in case they couldn't hear me in the wind, and yelled some choice words reflecting my impression of their intelligence. Then I resolved to ignore them the rest of the time. But I lucked out, on the next loop there was a man walking his dog by the same spot and that time the macho men held their tongues.
After that they seemed to be gone for the day.
This is the second time I've had to deal with this B.S. on the lakes loop. Last fall Cat and I were running out there one day, doing multiple loops. The apartment complex on the southeast corner of the lakes was under construction and some Darwin award candidates of the same mentality were up on the roof, yelling things at us.
Cat and I ended up changing our route to avoid that corner of the lake. But that pissed me off, why should we have to change where we run, it's a recreation path, and those bozos on the roof were interfering with our enjoyment of being out there.
So after we were done that day I took down the information on the project from a sign that was posted, and I called McWhinney, the developer, and asked to get in touch with the project manager. They took me seriously. I told the guy on the phone, they are making your business look bad and they are a liability, it's not only harassment but it's also a safety issue. What kind of crazy idiot would be up on a roof not paying attention to what they are doing and risk falling off the roof?
A Darwin Award candidate.
The company did follow up with it. After that there were no more catcalls, and the manager actually called me back later to tell me he had fired the ringleader.
There is no reason why women (or anyone) should be subjected to this kind of moronic behavior. It really blows me away that this kind of crap still goes on. Maybe I thought with my gray hair and middle age, I could pass a construction site unscathed. Apparently not. If you're female, you are still prey to the power games of this kind of unevolved, sick predator.
I really don't feel like pursuing that again, but if I was done early enough and had the energy I would have gone down there and raised some hell. By the end of the day the predators were gone and I was tired and wanted to get home to my Buffaloes.
At the end of my run, after 15 full loops, knowing all I had left was my extra little spur to make it an even 50, I clicked my heels together and said, "There's no place like home."
And before long I was magically transported back to Fort Collins, to the Buffaloes, who waited for me all day. I told them I would never leave home again. At least not until tomorrow morning for Rock Repeats with Katy.